Following the collapse of the previous government, Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis is rapidly growing due to the uncertain and chaotic economic and political situation. Millions of Afghans have been internally displaced, and thousands have left the country because of the regime change and massive ambiguity surrounding the situation. Scores of local families have left their homes and livestock behind in Daikondi, Panjshir, Helmand, and other provinces.
The regime change has severely affected the private sector as a large majority of local enterprises and international organizations remain closed since the Taliban’s takeover. This translates that the country is in a dire economic situation with no international support and connectivity, resulting in an extremely difficult situation for ordinary people. Similarly, the public sector has been partially paralyzed due to the absence of trade and regional connectivity. Afghan traders face unnecessary delays in reaching agriculture products to the regional markets due to several reasons. Likewise, importing basic necessity and food items have become challenging resulting in increased prices during these difficult times.
Afghanistan’s fragile and donation-based economy has already collapsed since the international community ceased sending funds, and the new regime has yet to gain international recognition and support. Many privately-owned companies and businesses remain closed and have yet to become operational due to the overwhelming uncertainties. The war is over, and the security situation has improved, however, security alone does not help the economy to thrive. International connectivity, regional trade, and foreign investment play a critical role in any economy, which are still missing in the context of Afghanistan.
The U.S. has frozen the $ 9.9 billion assets of Afghanistan’s central bank, putting the country’s broken economy in rather a vulnerable position. This intentional act of the U.S. government indicates that it has no intention to continue collaborating with the new Kabul regime in the areas of the economy, investment, diplomacy, and more. Doing so isolates the country and discourages other regional and international partners from engaging with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in domains where international support is of urgent need.
The regime change in Afghanistan caused massive unemployment among the people in both the private and public sectors. Some individuals experienced severe economic and financial losses and are desperately foreseeing an uncertain future with no clear direction to move forward. Now, the new regime’s acting ministers and leaders are urging people to resume their normal operations; however, a large majority of ordinary people are less optimistic about their jobs, businesses, and personal security due to different reasons.
Since Kabul’s takeover by the Taliban in mid-August, some people who used to work in the public sector started moving back to provinces. This is because they do not see any employment opportunities in the government institutions in Kabul anymore. Hopelessness, uncertainty, and desperation have overwhelmed people as they fear facing the worst scenarios as starvation has already hit the country due to unemployment, internal displacement, COVID-19, and drought.
On the other hand, neighboring countries, including Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan, have closed their land borders to avoid a further influx of Afghan refugees. Although the three immediate neighboring countries already host millions of Afghans, the chances are that mass exodus will take place to these destinations once the borders reopen and the situation normalizes.
Unemployment, starvation, migration, displacement are major challenges Afghan people are plagued with the current circumstances, marking the beginning of a new humanitarian crisis. Apparently, it is beyond the Kabul regime’s ability to come up with comprehensive solutions to the existing problems, unless regional and international countries extend their helping hands to the needy people of Afghanistan who have been suffering from dire poverty, migration, and instability for nearly half a century.